A study of 17,000 dogs including 101 different pure breds examined the heritability of 14 canine personality traits. Are canine personality characteristics inherited?
French Bulldogs: "vastly amusing and companionable breed."
The study, "Highly Heritable and Functionally Relevant Breed Differences In Dog Behavior" is the first large analysis of genographic data to prove the theory that certain characteristics are inbred in dogs. It measured 131 sections of dog DNA that corresponded to 14 behavior traits including aggression, fear, trainability, excitability, attachment, and predatory chasing behaviors.
The summary of the study is not written for genetic illiterates like myself, but the bottom line is translatable into when the American Kennel Club describes a certain breed's personality, believe it. The study shows that behavioral traits are genetically passed on and that these genes are also found to be responsible for similar traits in humans! (That's a topic for human behaviorists and psychiatrists to address.)
Australian Shepherd "Aussies exhibit an irresistible impulse to herd, anything: birds, dogs, kids."
“Our findings suggest that there are certainly genetic influences on dog behavior, and dog owners are never working with a ‘blank slate’,” Evan MacLean, Ph.D., a comparative psychologist at the University of Arizona and one of the study's researchers told Inverse.com.
Whether you are buying or adopting a pure bred or mixed breed dog, make sure you learn their behavioral characteristics, whether you need a protective canine, a lap dog, or a dog who enjoys a lot of activity, understand that, except for certain domestic behaviors that can be trained, their inherited character traits are there to stay... pretty much!